Started work on the third campaign stage: Driving Downtown

Thu 19 Nov 2015, 00:38 by bencelot



I've been working on the campaign slow and steady for weeks now, and am finally hitting my stride. I've just started work on the third campaign stage which will be called "Driving Downtown". As you can imagine it will be based on driving vehicles in the Downtown map. I've got a few ideas for vehicle puzzles but I'd love to hear some thoughts! This will be a new players first experience with vehicles and I want them to have fun! Here are a few vehicle related puzzle ideas I've got so far:

1) Start you in a blocked off area where you need to jump on top of a Loafer to exit.
2) Place a couple loafers next to some guards and set the angles so that you need to blow up the loafer to kill the guards (STM's awesome idea).
3) Have some loafers in a row which form a chain reaction of explosions to kill some guards.
4) Give you a Buggie and a ramp which must be jumped at full speed to enter an area.
5) Give you a Torpedo and some guards you need to kill!

Also on this map I will be introducing machine guns (M249 and M60) along with Vampirism, Frenzy and Clip Magnet. I'm not too sure on how to make puzzles out of these skills/weapons as they work in a more general way, unlike the very specific functions of Force Fields and Bouncing Bullets which were featured in the previous campaign stage. Any ideas on how to make puzzles out of this general Frenzy build are welcome!

And as always the story continues....

Image


4 Comments


STM1993 says:

Thu 19 Nov 2015, 02:25


Props on fixing the ancient map width rendering bug and making it work x10 faster!
bencelot wrote:
1) Start you in a blocked off area where you need to jump on top of a Loafer to exit.

Expanding on this, I would also suggest a 2nd Loafer placed on the stairs itself. You won't be able to jump onto the Loafer, but you will be able to press E to get in, and then get out and end up on top of(or the side of, depending on their mouse, which isn't as important to teach) the vehicle. Its a minor thing, but I don't want newbies to think that they're stuck if they can't jump over an empty car on some slopes/stairs.

bencelot wrote:
Also on this map I will be introducing machine guns (M249 and M60) along with Vampirism, Frenzy and Clip Magnet.

MGs specifically with the Frenzy build in a wide-open car map? My PvP instincts scream "NOOOOOO", but I suppose there's a few things you should take note of:
* Unfortunately, since guards won't be inside cars, won't be able to highlight the effectiveness of Vamp/Frenzy/CM between guards vs cars. This is something I wanted to teach subtly through observation (no text).
* Frenzy has a reveal penalty, causing guards(or at least those within a certain radius) to be lured towards your position when you turn it on. Take advantage of this.
* Frenzy builds normally stress rushing and some degree of accuracy, which is counter to how MGs are used due to their weight, movement inaccuracy and high ammo supply. Personally I would have suggested Static Charges+Lasing for this scenario, but if you insist on using the Frenzy build for this, I would suggest finding a workaround for this incompatibility(eg: close range, making player pickup MP5 during shootout portions, giving Final Focus).

(EDIT: Last point editted to include mention of Final Focus & MP5)


bencelot says:

Thu 19 Nov 2015, 02:42


Quote:
Props on fixing the ancient map width rendering bug and making it work x10 faster!


Hah cheers. Can't believe it, very happy! The map editor is so much nicer to use now.

Quote:
* Frenzy has a reveal penalty, causing guards(or at least those within a certain radius) to be lured towards your position when you turn it on. Take advantage of this.


This is a great idea. I'll need to tweak the AI for this. I wonder how it should work. Should all guards come charing at you always as soon as it's turned on? Or should the penalty only have some effect if you're within the cone of vision, but standing behind a wall. Technically this is what Frenzy would do (as it lets other players see you through walls), but maybe making all guards come at you would be a fun exception to make.

The reason for this combination of Frenzy, M60 and vehicles is:

1) Vehicles need to be added here. Newbies love vehicles and the sooner we get a vehicle map the better (first 2 levels are too small however).
2) The first 2 levels have you using shotguns (for their simplicity) and the Ruger (for it's direct long-ranged contrast with the shotguns). We need to introduce some sort of automatic at this point. It doesn't actually have to be the machinegun class though, it could be SMGs instead. I just feel that machine guns make more sense seeing as the map is so vehicle based already and machine guns are related to vehicles. Also newbies seem to consistently love using the M249.
3) The reason for Frenzy is because I want to fill out the Physical skill tree in terms of unlocks. Stage 2 gives you Force Fields and Bouncing Bullets, but I need you to get more physical skills so you can actually unlock stuff. Without Vamp, Frenzy and Final Focus you have nothing to invest points into and can't actually reach level 5 to unlock Bouncing Bullets. I also like the idea of going through 1 skill tree at a time to give you more of a feel for how trees work.

So basically this map just chucks all 3 of them together. But perhaps MP5 would be better than SAW/M60.


bencelot says:

Thu 26 Nov 2015, 03:36


Weeew lad this is taking a while. At the current rate I'm only completing one checkpoint per day. 9 more maps to go, 10 checkpoints each = 90 day! 3 more months till the campaign is done! It sure takes a long time to create interesting puzzles.

Of course it won't actually take that long. Most of my time right is spent coding in new features. I'm getting some massive feature creep going. I start working on a new stage and think.. hmm what would a cool puzzle be here? Then end up spending all day coding in some new functionality to make it work. I mean just look at all these guard AI options!

Image

Hopefully I run out of idea soon and can spent the bulk of my time on the actual map making process. Although I must say I have coded in some pretty cool stuff. Today I coded in something VERY cool which will have huge potential in future maps. Sometimes... I can't even. And now is that time.

I've done something else cool too. I've set up some elaborate stats tracking to measure campaign progress. Every time a player triggers a new bomb I send off some information to the database about what stage they're on, which bomb, how many times they've died, etc. This will all be added up and after a couple weeks I'll be able to report some really cool findings.

The most important thing I can measure is the start/finish attempts for every bomb in the game. The very first bomb in the very first map will let me know how many players are even attempting the campaign. Then I can look at the next bomb and see how many players have reached that. Then I can see how many have reached the next and the next and so on. So what I might find is something like this:

Map 1 Bomb 1: 1000 players reached
Map 1 Bomb 2: 998 players reached
Map 1 Bomb 3: 970 players reached
Map 1 Bomb 4: 650 players reached
Map 1 bomb 5: 640 players reached

Now if I see something like this in the database I know that a huge chunk of players are failing to reach bomb 4. This would most likely be because bomb 3 is too difficulty and is causing players to rage quit and not return. I can then go rework the puzzle on that bomb. I can also view average deaths and time spent for each bomb to further fine-tune the puzzles.

This should really help and is part of the reason I'm going to release v0.994 pretty soon to the public. I would love to get direct feedback from you guys on what works and what doesn't, but I also just want to start collecting stats from the steady stream of newbies who are constantly downloading the game every day. The 3 maps I've got so far will be enough to teach the basics and give me some insight into what sort of puzzles work and what don't.

Anyway won't be long now. I'm almost done with the 3rd stage - Driving Downtown. Here's part of the puzzle I worked on today. Perhaps the most awesome bomb yet!

Image


Nightfall says:

Fri 27 Nov 2015, 18:32


Looks badass. :P
Seriously as a long time Frenzy user myself the whole point of Frenzy is to charge at people and then use parasites to get resets, as well as Focus combined with Regen can be great for procing Focus. If you aim well and play smart you can 1v4 and stuff.
But for puzzles, would be cool to possibly combine Frenzy with Invis to constrast those two. Use the Frenzy to lure guards across the map to you, and then Invis into the objective. Hell, just turn Frenzy off and make the guards drop agro so they then are lost, and you wiz by in a roadster or some shit lol. Would be awesome.

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